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Morings v. Wells

United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Roanoke Division

May 7, 2018

RANDY MORINGS, Plaintiff,
v.
MS. D. WELLS, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          HON. MICHAEL F. URBANSKI CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Randy Morings, a Virginia inmate proceeding pro se, had filed a civil rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, naming D. Wells as the sole defendant. Plaintiff had alleged that Wells, who was the Health Authority at River North Correctional Center ("RNCC"), exhibited deliberate indifference to a serious medical need in violation of the Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution. Wells had filed a motion for summary judgment that the court granted. However, the court also allowed Plaintiff to file an amended complaint that states a claim upon which relief may be granted against RNCC medical staff Nurse Walls and Lab Technician S. Lark, pursuant to Gordon v. Leeke, 574 F.2d 1147, 1153 (4th Cir. 1978).

         Plaintiff filed the amended complaint, and presently before the court are Lark's motion to dismiss and Walls' motions to dismiss and for summary judgment. Although given the opportunity to do so, Plaintiff failed to timely respond to the motions.[1] After reviewing Defendants' motions and the amended complaint, the court denies Lark's motion to dismiss, grants in part and denies in part Nurse Wall's motion to dismiss, grants Nurse Wall's motion for summary judgment, and orders Lark to file a motion for summary judgment.

         I.

         A.

         The court considers the allegations in both the original complaint and the amended complaint.[2] The factual allegations recited in the amended complaint are brief:

As I stated in a prior complaint, on July 8, 2015, I was placed in Special Housing (SHU) for a disciplinary infraction and. while housed there, I submitted several request forms for medical treatment. Although I was told repeatedly that I was being placed on the sick call to see the doctor, I was never given an appointment.
Because of the delay in receiving treatment, my arm, later determined to have been broken, was never repaired and still gives me problems and pain.
During the review of my initial complaint, it was determined that [Nurse Walls and S. Lark] were responsible for the denial of treatment and this Court permitted me to file this amended complaint naming Nurse Walls and S. Lark as proper defendants.

(Am. Compl. 2.)

         The factual allegations recited in the original complaint are slightly more descriptive:[3]

On July 8, 2015, I was placed in Special Housing Unit (SHU) for a Disciplinary infraction and while in SHU I told [Nurse Walls] that I was having a lot of "pain" in my right arm. [Nurse Walls] told me that it was just bruised. After about a week had passed[, ] my arm was still hurting and the swelling had not gone down. I wrote a request form to the nurse and asked to be seen. I got the request form back and was informed [by Nurse Walls] that I will be on the list to be seen. However, after about 2 weeks had passed[, ] I had not yet seen the doctor, so I wrote another request for medical attention on August 13, 2015 and was told [by Lark] I have been scheduled for an appointment. On October 6, 2015, I finally went and seen the doctor after waiting over 90 days, was given an X-ray and the test revealed that my arm was broken. This was determined by Dr. Stevens. On October 19, 2015, some (13) days later, I still have not receive medical treatment for my broken arm, so I then wrote an informal complaint attesting the denial of . . . RNCC[] Medical Department not rendering the correct medical services for a broken elbow/arm. Ms. D. Wells, Registered Nurse (RN)[, ] stated in response to my informal complaint that "y°u were seen by the nurse in October for an injury that occurred 4-months prior; the Radiologist Report stated old fracture-no new fracture[."] So on October 30, 2015, I filed a grievance contesting the Deliberate and Indifferent. .. denial of Medical Health Care service for a Serious Medical Condition (i.e. broken/fractured elbow).
* * *
My complaint is that I was provided inadequate medical attention for a serious medical need. [Nurse Walls] told me that my arm was bruised when in fact it was broken. She provided a medical opinion without, however, any medical test being conducted. After being informed by Dr. Stevens that my arm was broken[, ] I was not given any treatment to fix the break. My arm is now permanently damaged beyond repair.

(Orig. Compl. 2-3.)

         The claims against Nurse Walls and Lark can be distinguished from these allegations. Nurse Walls' involvement with Plaintiffs treatment is limited to the initial examination and diagnosis on July 8, 2015, and responding to the first request for services form. Lark's involvement with ...


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